Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The IOC - Such a Happy Little Group

This was forwarded this morning from a friend on Hornby Island, where people read the news very early each day. Thanks, Gary.

VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Convicted ex-Samsung chairman Lee Kun-hee was
reinstated Sunday as a full member of the International Olympic Committee, a
boost for South Korea's bid to host the 2018 Winter Games.

Lee's rights were restored by the IOC executive board, although the IOC also
gave him a public reprimand for tarnishing the Olympic movement and banned him
from serving on any IOC commissions for five years.

Lee voluntarily gave up his IOC rights after being indicted in 2008 in a
financial and tax evasion case. The South Korean government pardoned Lee last
year, clearing the way for his return to the IOC.

Lee is now free to attend IOC sessions, take part in IOC votes and help South
Korea's latest campaign to host the Winter Games.

The South Korean government has said Lee will be a key figure in the bid from
Pyeongchang, which is competing for the 2018 Games along with Munich and
Annecy, France.

Pyeongchang is bidding for the third straight time after defeats for the 2010
and 2014 Games, which went to Vancouver and Sochi, Russia. The IOC will choose
the 2018 host in 2011.

With Lee's reinstatement, South Korea has two IOC members. The other is Moon

"We are delighted to hear the news," said Park Yang-chun, chairman of the
Korean Olympic Committee's international relations commission. "We are very
pleased to hear of his reinstatement."

Park said it was too early to determine Lee's exact role in the Pyeongchang bid.

"One way or another he will join our bid," he said. "There is nothing official
yet. Mr. Lee will decide."

Lee's reinstatement follows the pattern of previous IOC ethics cases. French
member Guy Drut was provisionally suspended in 2005 after being convicted in a
party-financing trial. He was reinstated by the IOC a year later after being
pardoned by then French President Jacques Chirac.

Lee stepped down in April 2008 after 20 years at the helm of the Samsung Group
after being indicted in connection with losses at a Samsung affiliate and for
tax evasion. He later was fined and sentenced to a suspended three-year prison

In Sunday's ruling, the IOC ethics commission said Lee's conduct "has tarnished
the reputation of the Olympic movement" and violated the IOC's ethical

The IOC issued him with a "reprimand" and a five-year suspension from sitting
on any commissions.

Asked how the committee could bring back a member who had been convicted of
criminal charges, IOC spokesman Mark Adams said: "He has received two of the
three strongest sanctions the IOC can give."

The strongest sanction is expulsion.


Evil Eye said...

So what else is new? Let's see:

- Birds of a feather flock together.

- You sleep with dogs, you get fleas.

- Dirt settles to the bottom but trash floats.

- There's a difference between criminals and crooks. Crooks steal. Criminals blow some guy's brains out.

- The difference between tax avoidance and tax evasion is the thickness of a prison wall.

- Whoever wins, it's going to be a prestigious city. I'm often questioned who might be the winner and I'm always inclined to say the winner is the IOC.

- For a long time the IOC liked the idea of money but they didn't like the thought of working for it.

- The IOC didn't even try to get guarantees on human rights.

- During the Olympic process, I was approached by a third party who claimed to represent IOC members. He was certainly known well with the Olympic movement, and he said we wouldn't win the bid unless we provided commercial endorsements.

burgherRaveen said...

Call me shocked and appalled. Ha!

Laura Robinson has a telling tale of the fascist IOC in The Literary Review of Canada titled "A Shameful Track Record — The Olympic movement plays fast and loose with basic democratic values."